Graduates look to take over unique family businesses - CBS 5 - KPHO

Graduates look to take over unique family businesses

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MESA, AZ (CBS5) -

School's out for the summer and a couple of college grads are taking over their families' unique businesses.

"I'm the youngest of four boys. All of them chose different career paths," said Bryce Bunker. He left behind his marketing gig in Silicon Valley to join his dad's business.  

"It was an Internet advertising company focusing on doing social media mostly for athletes," Bunker said.

He will become the third generation owner of the Bunker Family Funerals and Cremation.

"He would've been disappointed to see that leave the family," Bunker said.

Bunker is one of three graduates from the mortuary science program at Mesa Community College this year poised to take over the family business.

It's a welcome sight for an industry that's changed drastically over the years, said Bill Lowman, whose son was in the same graduating class.

"It's nice to know the business isn't going to be sold to this large conglomerate here in town that owns 90 percent of the funeral homes already," Lowman said.

"The trend right now is people not having any familial background," said Donna Backhaus, the coordinator of the program at MCC. She said it takes a certain kind of person to be a mortician.

"You have to be compassionate, ethical, and honest," she said. It's a challenge these graduates are willing to undertake.

"We have a unique opportunity to serve the community and serve families at a difficult time so that trumps any challenges on my end," Bunker said.

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